Fish and chips, a British summertime classic and something I used to eat a fair amount of before going vegan. There are loads of recipes floating around for fish alternatives, my personal favourite is using tofu, so I thought I'd add my version into the mix.
Tofu fish or 'tofish' is becoming an increasingly common, cruelty free alternative to traditional battered fish. Not only is tofu high in omega 3 fatty acids, it contains all 8 essential amino acids and is a great source of plant-based protein, making it the ideal fish substitute. Sushi nori also gives tofish the scarily realistic skin look whilst recreating the fishy seaside flavour.
In case you weren't already aware, many beers aren't vegan friendly due to the use of animal products during the brewing process (including fish bladders, yuck!!). Thankfully many popular beers including Budweiser, Stella and Guinness are safe for consumption and make great choices for the vegan beer batter in this recipe. The tofu fish is best served with hand cut chips, mushy peas and a wedge of lemon to recreate the classic chip shop meal.
Living in Hull I obviously had to top this meal off with some famous chip spice - A blend of salt, paprika and some other spices. This was something I'd never heard of before moving to Hull but the locals eat with with pretty much everything (I'm not even exaggerating) and over the years I've grown to love it.
Tofu Fish and Chips
Prep time: 60 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Total time: 90 minutes
For the tofu fish
400g block of firm tofu
2 nori sheets
5 tbsp olive oil
For the beer batter
50g plain flour
50g corn flour
1/4 tsp salt
150ml beer (I use Guinness)
5 medium potatoes
1 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt & pepper
Preheat the oven to 180 °C (or 160 °C fan assisted, like mine) and drain and press the tofu block for around 30 minutes to remove any excess liquid.
To make the chips, wash your potatoes and slice them into 'chip' shapes, leaving the skin on (or peel if you want).
Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and cook the potatoes for 5 minutes, then drain and dry.
Lay the chips out on a baking tray and add the olive oil, flour, salt and pepper and mix until all the chips are evenly coated.
Place the chips in the oven for 30 minutes, making sure to flip them every now and again to stop them sticking (I use a non-stick pan but that doesn't seem to stop them wanting to stick).
Once you have finished pressing the tofu, slice it into 6-8 rectangles and season with a little salt and pepper.
Cut the nori sheet using scissors into roughly the same size as the largest surface of the tofu pieces, making two rectangles for each tofish.
Prepare the beer batter by combining the dry ingredients and mixing, then slowly pour in the beer and whisk until all the lumps are removed.
Using the juice from the lemon to help it stick, place the nori sheets on the tofu.
Heat the oil in a frying pan and dip the tofu into the batter, making sure all sides are completely covered.
In batches of 3-4 add the tofu to the hot frying pan and fry for a couple minutes, then flip and repeat on the other side.
Once golden brown, remove the tofu from the pan and place on a piece of kitchen paper to soak up any excess oil.
By this point the chips should be nice and crispy, remove the chips from the oven and serve immediately on a plate with the tofu fish and your choice of sides.
Any leftover tofu fish can also be used to make fish sandwiches with a little salad and vegan tartar sauce.
Instead of shallow frying the fish you could opt to deep fry the tofu using 1 litre of oil (obviously this is the less healthy option though)
If you don't want to use alcohol in the recipe, you can replace this with sparkling water.
Rather than using beer batter, you could also make breaded tofish using breadcrumbs.
Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoy making my version of this popular veganised dish. If you do try any of my recipes I'd love to know how they turn out - tag me on Instagram @josiewalshaw!